Along with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from UC Davis, Johnna has a unique background in nutrition, exercise physiology, and law, which have all led to a deep-rooted passion for connecting where our food comes from and how it impacts human health.
Johnna achieved her law degree from the University of Montana in 2009. As a successful criminal defense attorney for over 12 years, Johnna developed a reputation for utilizing a holistic approach to working with those suffering from mental health and addiction issues.
Over time, Johnna’s passion for helping people from a holistic approach became more front and center. She began her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition in 2020 and graduated from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy in 2021, becoming a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC).
When not working with clients in either her legal practice or functional nutrition capacity, Johnna enjoys growing things in the dirt, raising a variety of farm animals, and spending as much time as possible with her amazingly supportive husband, and two young children on their fledgling homestead along the Blackfoot River.
My path to functional medicine has been long, bumpy, and dirty, leading me to liken one’s health and wellness journey to more of a dirt logging road than a highway. While working as a paralegal in a criminal defense firm in Tennessee, I began suffering debilitating migraines. Conventional medicine offered opiates. Given my extensive family history of addiction and mental illness, “solving” my problem with a pill was simply not an option for me.
Over the subsequent 16 years that included cross-country moves, law school, new careers, new relationships, children, family illness, and an extreme level of stress layered atop a long family history of trauma, I eventually made the connection between food, chronic stress, other lifestyle factors, and my waning health. This was the point when my own unique medical journey began.
As a scientist at heart, I have always loved a good experiment, especially when it involves N=1 (me). I began experimenting with diet changes to try to address my symptoms, which had now progressed to include cystic acne, migraines, joint pain, significant digestive distress, and anxiety. After a slew of stressful family medical issues, I began to draw lines between my symptoms, my family members’ multiple chronic disease diagnoses, and chronic inflammation.
In 2019, when my father was diagnosed with biliary cancer and chronic kidney disease, I hit a major turning point. I dove deep into functional medicine and even cracked open my old biochemistry books. On top of his new diagnoses, my father had struggled with long-term diabetes, COPD, asthma, and chronic joint pain, which had failed to improve with conventional medicine alone. I took him under my wing and we both adopted a whole food Ketogenic diet. We addressed his diabetes and cancer with a metabolic whole-body approach and it worked. His doctors were amazed.
With my father’s success and my improved symptoms, I began to see clearly that food is medicine and health starts with what we ingest. My goal is to help patients reconnect with their bodies and their environment, and build back trust for their own intuition when working to achieve their health goals.
“My joy comes from empowering others and helping those under my care reconnect with their body’s needs. I look forward to helping each patient conduct their own personal health experiment, utilizing food along with other lifestyle factors to achieve optimal wellness.“
– Johnna Sutton, BS, FMCHC